Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mt. Baker Scenic Byway

Welcome to my blog on traveling in the Pacific Northwest, one of the most beautiful spots in North America. I have already had an inquiry about the locale of the photograph in the header. It's a view of Mt. Shuksan on the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, an in-and-out road beginning in Bellingham, Washington, and ending some 60 miles later at a stunning viewpoint called Artist Point. As with many trips, I was attracted to this journey based on a picture of this same mountain from a magazine article. Rather than a picture saying a thousand words, for me it said simply, "You've got to see this!" It took over five years and several false starts to be in the Bellingham area on a smashing, sunny day when Mt. Baker was not shrouded in rain clouds.

To reach the byway, exit I-5 at State Highway 542 and head east. While the beginning of the route is not particularly interesting, once you reach Picture Lake (the site of the photograph) the WOW moments start. At Heather Meadows Visitor Center, there is a small museum, nature trail, and one of the world's most superbly sited restrooms. From here, the road climbs steeply offering increasingly better views until it ends at the parking lot at Artist Point. The views of  Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan and Table Mountain are breathtaking...take a look!

Mt. Shuksan

Mt. Baker

Artist Point

Table Mountain

Picture Lake

The Beautiful Bathroom!

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